Have you signed up to be counted in NEFA’s CultureCount? NEFA (New England Foundation for the Arts) is a enormous resource for anyone in the arts in New England. If you are an artist, run a creative business or represent a cultural nonprofit you should be counted. Click here to find out why you should be listed. http://www.culturecount.org/public/whycreate.aspx
CultureCount is a free creative economy database. CultureCount is a centralized source of descriptive, financial, demographic, and geographic information about cultural nonprofits, businesses, and professionals in New England.
CultureCount provides a comprehensive representation of the creative economy of New England that supports the advocacy, fundraising, cultural analysis, and policy development efforts of artists, cultural organizations, researchers, and policy makers. CultureCount users can log on to discover cultural organizations, explore their communities, and analyze economic impact.
It is important to our regional economy that those of us who are working in the Creative Economy be counted. If you are not sure if you or your business would be identified as part of the creative economy click on this link to see if you fit the definition http://www.nefa.org/sites/default/files/ResearchCreativeEconRptHighlihghts.pdf.
It is true that self-promotion is difficult for most people. For artists it seems even more so. “The facts are without marketing and promotion what you have is a pleasant hobby“. This is a quote from a blog called Art Print Issues. Take some time to read and follow the advice from this useful site.
When putting artwork or photographs on the internet,
it can become “fair game” to the whole world, despite copyright laws. There are complicated codes that can prevent images from being copied, but these codes are not used on all sites. Social media sites like Facebook or Flickr do not protect your images and what you upload, can be downloaded.
In this time of open sources, privacy issues in Facebook and other social sharing sites, and on-line stores, it can be difficult to protect your images. Placing a watermark in the middle of the picture is one way to protect it. However, that severely lowers the quality of your image. If you are trying to present your work to potential customers, you want it to be sharp and clear. Additionally, with software like Photoshop CS5, a watermark can be easily eliminated.
So how does one protect art work on the internet and still take advantage of the vast marketing potential offered by social media? You could limit your exposure only to sites where your work can not be easily copied, for example www.Artid.com. Or you can recognize the risks involved and post only work that is “web friendly” but not “print friendly”. Be aware of the resolution of the file you post. If your image is 500 pixels on the longest side, it will be large enough to see clearly on the computer screen but can not be enlarged beyond that size. An added plus to that size is how rapidly it will load. Your viewers will appreciate the quick load time.
Accept the risk that the image might be “borrowed”. But since your work cannot increase in size easily, your file will not be very useful to the borrower. Be sure to always mark or sign your work clearly. On social networks, friends will share images they like, not intending to steal but rather to share an experience. That is why we network. It is a great chance for your work to be viewed by a new and larger audience. The internet is a great new way for artists and photographers to market their work. If your name is clearly marked, someone who sees your work might become a fan. Use the internet wisely and take care to protect your work as much as you can.
A helpful hint for those who use Photoshop: To easily scale your image smaller and quickly, use the “Save for Web & Devices” Command under File. It saves your image as a separate file, either jpeg, png, or bmp. Resize in the dialog box to 500 pixels on the longest side and you are ready to upload.
I was recently asked to join the bloggers on Art ID. I was most honored to be selected as a giclee expert to share my experience and knowledge with fellow artists. Art ID is an online gallery dedicated to marketing and promoting artists. Unlike many other online sites, Art ID is very actively working to find markets and opportunities for artists to sell their work. Art ID takes no commission and offers sites from totally free to large and artist controlled galleries for a small fee. For artists without their own website, this is a very valuable service. For artists with a website it is a way to further their on-line presence and get valuable marketing information and prospects. The Blogs are full of good advice on marketing, painting and all things artistic. If you are not already one of the thousands of members, consider joining. An additional plus, is that this site was founded locally and the site owners and contributors are artists local to the western Massachusetts area.